Crude oil theft requires collective action – NNF

Executives of New Nigerian Foundation with Participants from different sectors of the economy at the event.

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Chuks Udo Okonta

New Nigerian Foundation (NNF) has said crude oil theft is a national issue that requires collective action from all stakeholders and therefore, called for a total commitment to curbing the menace.

The Foundation expressed this at one-day dissemination workshop on Advocacy Against Crude Oil Theft in Lagos.

Speaking at the event, NNF Senior Programmes Manager, Chikodi Chiedo, canvassed the need for the adoption of multi-faceted approaches to curbing the menace as a single approach cannot solve the problem, stressing that solutions have to cut across the value chain because of the multiple players involved.

Chiedo recommended that there be proper disposal of confiscated petroleum products as the current disposal approach being applied by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps further aggravates environmental degradation already caused during the processing of crude oil by artisanal refiners.

She also suggested that there may be a need to conduct research and technical evaluation of the composition of the products from artisanal refineries in order to determine what needs to be done to convert them to useful products.

“The development of modular refineries and other technologies could help in meeting local market demands, eliminating illegal processing of crude oil and the attendant environmental damage.” She added.

She made further recommendations for the adoption of modern surveillance technology (drones, CCTV and oil finger printing) for the protection of pipelines as the failure of the government to put an end to crude oil theft is an attestation to the need for different approaches.

According to her, some countries have successfully addressed similar challenges via the use of the above mentioned technologies, hence the relevant government agencies should look into what would work in the Nigerian context.

“The government should develop the agricultural and manufacturing sectors to absorb unemployed youth by providing social amenities such as; electricity, roads, hospitals, schools, water.

“They should arrest and prosecute crude oil thieves, their sponsors and collaborators.”
For the citizens, she advised that the youth be sensitized to put collective interest above personal gains and crime as well as participate in governance so as to hold the government accountable,” she posited.

The Senior Programmes Manager advocated that government should support local refiners and establish modular refineries to meet local needs.

“The civil society should hold pipeline surveillance contractors accountable for oil theft as well as advocate for transparency and open data to the public from NNPC.”
The oil companies, she maintained, should implement local content policy and ensure that host communities benefit from contracts and jobs.

Deputy Director, Programmes NNF, Layide Adesanya, said the the event was tagged a dissemination workshop as it provided an avenue to share information on the projects embarked upon by the NNF on crude oil advocacy; discoveries and lessons learnt and the tools developed therein for journalists and the civil society.

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